This week brought a troubling account of the lives of several homeless people living and working in and around the “happiest place on Earth” (not Rockford, Illinois, the other one). Disney World may be an anchor in Florida’s tourism-heavy economy, but it is failing to provide adequate wages to the working people serving the fried dough and wearing the terrifying costumes.
Also from Florida, it’s illegal to be homeless!
Here is a story about a former State Department employee who is fired and forced into the minimum wage retail sector. He makes some interesting observations about this part of our world. I’m sure everyone working retail will be relieved to know that the poor are more frugal than the rich. Don’t you need to have something in order to not spend it and have it count as frugality?
But don’t despair, the White House just held a big fancy meeting with the heirs to the biggest fortunes to discuss… what, like, money stuff? I’m sure ways to save our crumbling middle class is at the top of the list.
One small business owner thinks raising the minimum wage is a good idea. I’m not sure I entirely agree with his reasoning, but at least these opinions are kind of getting out there still.
In a truly shocking act of progressive governance, Tennessee has passed a bill that would grant free college tuition to high school graduates. And if that’s not crazy enough, the Republican Governor is expected to sign it into law.
And the national discussion, uproar, furor, mania! over Thomas Piketty’s new best-selling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century continues this week. Piketty explains how wealth accumulates to those who already have it in any economy where returns on investment are greater than overall growth. Krugman reviews the book here and Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks at the Harvard Book Store (skip ahead to minute 24) about her own new book A Fighting Chance and is asked about Piketty’s work. It sounds like she agrees with him.
And to end on a good note, an Ohio newspaper seems to have published what we were all thinking all along regarding the marijuana leglization “debate.”